Savor a Savory Bread Pudding

by Kelly on November 2, 2010   

Bread Pudding moves in comfortably as a main or a side dish

I’ve confessed this before: I love bread. I could live by bread alone. Well, almost. Like most folks, I love bread pudding in the sweet form. But I’ve been experimenting with savory bread pudding, and I’m here to report that it’s fantastic. This is an updated casserole of sorts, though much, much easier. And this “pudding” welcomes all ingredients — in fact to shop for it goes against its humble nature.

I could have called this the “Kitchen Sink” Bread Pudding, because it cries out for using the odds and ends in the refrigerator or larder — vegetable, meat or cheese. I happened to have a couple of slices of prosciutto and a package of sliced peppered salami. I also had some shredded parmesan and mozzarella, but any combination of cheese would be great. In fact, if you make this bread pudding with a combination you think is sublime, let me know. I’m always looking for ideas for my kitchen table.

The basic ingredients are stale bread, 6 eggs, milk and an onion -- everything else is interchangeable

Savory Bread Pudding | 4 to 6 servings

This makes a hearty 4 or 5 servings as a main dish, or 6 as a side. If you don’t have stale bread on hand, tear up any bread and let it dry out overnight or in a very low oven.

8 handfuls of stale bread torn into bite-sized pieces or cubes
(about 10 cups — I used 1 baguette and a demi olive bread)
6 eggs
3 cups of milk (a little less if the bread is less stale)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced to a paste
10 slices peppered salami, chopped
4 slices prosciutto, chopped
4-inch sprig fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
2 tablespoons pesto
1 cup chopped or shredded fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole.

My "handful" is the equivalent of a very full cup of bread pieces

Put the stale bread pieces in an oversize bowl. Combine the eggs and milk and add a little salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the bread, tossing well to coat the pieces. Let the bread stand for 20 minutes or until it is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

A large bowl is best for tossing the ingredients together

The staler the bread, the more time is needed to soften the pieces

Turn over the soaking bread periodically to help the softening process and distribute the liquid -- I like to use my hands to do this

While the bread is soaking, preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and wilt the onions for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the chopped salami, prosciutto, and rosemary and cook for 1 more minute.

This could be cooked chicken and broccoli, or sausage and asparagus -- I do like an onion in it, though

To the soaked bread, add the cooked onion and salami mixture, pesto, and 2/3 of the cheese. Combine well.

Mix this all together and add a little more salt and pepper

Scoop the mixture into the buttered casserole and distribute the remaining cheese over the top.

Spread the soaked bread out in an even layer

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. The top will be golden brown and slightly crispy.

It's hard to stop eating this celebration of bread

If it doesn’t all get eaten fresh from the oven, it’s awfully good heated in the microwave, and as long as you’re doing that why not put a poached egg on top? Mmmm.

Kelly McCune © 2010

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25 Crowd - Pleasing Casseroles - Lady Behind the Curtain
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Barry Franklin November 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Thought you might enjoy this —

toni November 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Hey Kelly,

This looks fabulous! I love bread pudding but have only had it sweet, not savory. I think I have all the ingredients so I’ll try it soon – thanks!


Kelly November 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Thanks for the link, Barry!

Kelly July 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Fixed, thank you, Janice!

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